David Bowie lived in Berlin for a few years in the late seventies, trying to kick his coke habit and producing some of the greatest albums in his career. His legacy is still very tangible in a few special places around the city.
5 places with a very strong David Bowie signature in Berlin
1) Paris Bar
David Bowie lived in Berlin from 1976 to 1979 hoping to get rid of his cocaine-addiction. He and Iggy Pop liked to hang out in the stylish Paris Bar near Savignyplatz, which is still popular with artists and media-people. The notorious Rolling Stone interview that ended with Pop crawling out of the bar happened here.
2) Hansa Studios
This sound studio is where Bowie wrote the song Heroes and where he recorded three of his best albums; Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). It is said that Bowie later on in his career considered this trilogy to be his DNA. U2, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, The Kooks, Travis... they all decided to work with Hansa. You can visit the cosy studios but don’t forget to make a reservation.
3) Hauptstrasse 155
This is the apartment Bowie shared with Iggy Pop. Since Bowie’s death in January 2016, many people have been petitioning to change the name of the Hauptstrasse (Main Street) into Bowiestrasse, which of course would make so much more sense. Fritz Music Tours offers tours of the city that include a stop at Hansa Studios and the flat.
4) Potsdamer Platz
In the thirties Potsdamer Platz used to be Berlin’s Piccadilly Circus. In the seventies it became an empty, heavily fortified patch of land between East and West, surrounded by GDR watchtowers. Now it’s a shiny commercial centre with shops, cinemas and the flagship Sony Centre. Bowie referred to it in his 2013 comeback single Where are we now?
5) Brücke Museum
Coco, Bowie’s caring assistant at the time, took Bowie to this museum that was named after the group of German artists who called themselves ‘Die Brücke’ (The Bridge): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Bowie loved these expressionists’ rough strokes and their melancholic moods and he was deeply moved and triggered by the works.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Berlin reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Berlin's best-kept secrets.
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